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Tri-Grip Thief Strikes in Florida….

Apr 12

In News at 6:36am


According to police reports stemming from the well attended NAPP (National Association of PhotoShop Professionals) Convention in Orlando, Florida, this man, David Ziser, shown above, has allegedly not returned a  Tri-grip “borrowed” during the event to its’ rightful owner. The owner has duly reported it to authorities as theft. Ziser, a well known wedding photographer from the little town of Edgewood, Ky., has apparently left Florida.

Joe McNally, the owner and operator of the tri-grip, was too emotionally distraught to speak directly with reporters, and simply offered this statement via an intermediary. “I have a few of them, but that one was my favorite. I used it to fan Michelle Pfeiffer. The gold reflective side still had baby oil on it from a Maxim shoot. I mean, I could get another, but honestly, I feel like some of my memories have been torn away.”

Drew Gurian, who is, according to police, “close to the situation,” spoke with the crush of media outside Orlando Police Headquarters. “I really sympathize with Joe, frankly. This is no small thing. He loved that tri-grip. He made some of his best pictures with it. There was this time, during an annual report for a band camp, he used diffusion to take the edge off the highlight on a tuba hoop. It was a moment that the job could have gone either way. And Joe saved it with that move, and that tri-grip.”

Back in the individual’s home town, people are coming forward. Neighbor Betsy Loopenwhopper stated flatly, “I knew all that squeaky clean, Mr. Nice Guy Wedding Photog stuff was too good to be true. There was something off. I mean, anybody who actually cuts the grass wearing a suit and tie is just flat out weird.”

Some feel it is a marketing ploy, plain and simple. Ziser, originator of the popular “Zumbrella” light shaping tool, may have economic goals in mind.

“Definitely, ” said RC Concepcion, who claims to know both parties. “He thinks that if he deprives Joe of his Tri-.grip, Joe will have to resort to a Zumbrella on his next job. I don’t see that happening, but it might.”

Likewise, Scott Kelby, President of NAPP, said, “A few weeks back, we had a couple of strobes, and some spot grids go missing from NAPP’s photo studio. David hadn’t been there in a while, and nobody actually saw him with the strobes, but…you just kinda knew it was him. He’s slippery like that.”

Ziser and his wife LaDawn, whom authorities have described as a “person of interest,” have yet to surface. Unconfirmed reports indicate they are in Mexico, where one of the poolside attendants at an unnamed luxury resort described a woman matching LaDawn Ziser’s description cooling her self with a “extremely large and unusual fan, gold on one side, white on the other.”

Most, though, feel there is no nefarious intent on the part of Ziser. In fact, some feel he may just be swept up in the euphoria of the success of his new book, Captured by the Light. Dr. Otto Focus, of the PsychoNeurotic Institute for Anxious Photographers (a division of the PsychoNeurotic Institute for the Very, Very Nervous) feels this is unquestionably the case. “Mr. Ziser says it himself, in the title of the book. ‘ He is “captured by the light.’ He obviously feels that he has this kinship with light, a direct line of communication to all things luminous. This will pass.”


Meanwhile, McNally remains in Connecticut, hoping Ziser will reach out to him. “Maybe if he sent me, like, a dozen zumbrellas. I’d feel better.” More tk….

Derryl says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:41 am

hahaha….Monday morning does not feel all that bad after all…off to a good start. Thanks Joe! LOL

Ken says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:41 am

Awesome post – funny way to start my Monday!!! This is bigger news that the CS5 announcement for sure!

Mark Teo says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:42 am

Hahahaha what a great piece !Esp the baby oil from the Maxim Shoot

Morne says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:46 am

Tri as I mightt to the contrary, I get the feeling this post isn’t a true reflection of the situation.

So McNally, get a grip! Oh, wait… that’s the problem here isn’t it?

Thanks for taking a bit of blue out of Monday!

Antoine says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:50 am

You can’t trust anybody anymore! Hope you will recover your trip-grip unharmed and still baby oiled 😉

Sean McCormack says:

on April 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hey Joe,
Too funny. I nearly wet myself laughing..

If you’re really stuck, I’ve one I never use…

Howard Haby says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:05 am

LOL!! This is fantastic. Hilarious!! Great read to start off my week. Thanks.

MisterB says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:05 am

Too funny!

Karl Bradley says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

I’ve found that if you carefully prise the tri-grip grip open, there’s enough room for a couple of pounds of C4 connected to a bluetooth proximity sensor. Tri-grip goes out of range of your phone and boom. Okay, doesn’t stop the 1st one being stolen, but you know they won’t steal another.

Disclaimer. Don’t set your equipment up, remember you left the memory-card holder in the car and go back for it…………

PS. Seriously, when are you going to do a workshop in the UK? ( UK —-> little country across the pond).

Jeff W says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:08 am

This is hilarious! Awesome writing, Joe!

DSWfoto says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:10 am

Mr. Ziser did borrow a reflector of Joe’s which I vividly remember seeing returned prior to the keynote. Has anyone interviewed Syl Arena?

P.S. Where did you find a picture of David WITHOUT a sport coat?

hfng says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:11 am

Lol! This is just too funny!

Brian says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:23 am

Haha, I knew he looked dodgy, Love his new book though which sits beside your books Joe, but last night I found your books on the ground, I think Ziser’s book may have pushed them off the shelf.. Shame on him !! 😉

Marc says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:24 am

This post was a great laugh. You’re a riot, Mr. McNally :)

david says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

I knew it! He always seemed so nice but you knew deep down there was something not quite right. I mean, who in their right mind can put out free info and videos on a daily basis and not be trying to cover up a more sinister side.

Give it back Mr Ziser, if that is your real name. And seek help.


Leah Hewitt says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:32 am

Joe, your blog posts are always something I look forward to, but this one was really laugh out loud.

Will definitely check out Mr. Ziser’s new book!

Keep posting!

Phil Way says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

Very funny! Why is it that everytime I visit your blog, my wallet seems to get lighter!?

Kris Mitchell says:

on April 12, 2010 at 7:39 am

Ha! Brilliant post – (I always thought that Ziser fellow was shifty) – but really, it gave me a much needed laugh halfway through the working day.


Jeff says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

Haha! Just what I needed this Monday morning!

Thanks Joe!

Chris Parker says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

Ha ha! Hope you get it back soon (or 12 zumbrellas)!

AndyH says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

I hope David can take a joke as well as he takes equipment! I also hope the tri-grip doesn’t turn up in your bag after this ‘accusation’!

I just visited David’s blog to see if he’d responded – not yet.

I left a suggestion in his suggestion box that he do a post about using ‘borrowed’ tri-grip reflectors, now he has the gear, there’s no excuse!

Love your work Joe – oh, and according to David, you can bounce a flash off a Grooms white shirt so that’s part of the tri-grip’s use covered, now where’d I put that groom? “LaDawn”!!

Martin Jensen says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

HAHA this is to funny…

Grant Perry says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:15 am

Nice – rofl.

Jason says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:21 am

So sorry to hear about the Tri Grip Joe. I remember you using it once to bounce a little extra light onto a hoodoo in Bryce. You seemed so happy then, you and your Tri Grip. I remembered thinking that when you used that Tri Grip, your face lit up like never before… (pun intended)

Brittan McGinnis says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:23 am

I think he might of just been jealous that you got to fan Michele Pfiefer with your tri-grip and the zumbrella has yet to have such an honor. 😉

Jeffrey Snyder says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

Possibly it will be personally returned by Mr Ziser, or one of his assistants at your next Dobbs Ferry workshop? The Tri-Grip could slide in and blend in with the other Lastolite’s up against the wall??

Christina says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

I bet now on that he or anyone else will never forget to return your gear back. good stuff Joe

RobertaL says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:44 am

Great post, Joe. It’s good to know that journalism degree hasn’t been wasted!

Hala says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:44 am

hahahaha, you’re the best Joe! I say go after him :-)

Patricia says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

I am going to rank this as your funniest ever blog. I will be re-reading it during the week when I need a smile.

Eric Geidl says:

on April 12, 2010 at 8:49 am

Hahaha !

It is always funny to read your posts, but this one … !

José Caetano says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:00 am

You’re so funny! Thanks

Lyle says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

Clever. lol

John says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:20 am

Great post, Joe!

Just FYI, the link to ze Zumbrellas has an extra “http://” at the start, causing a dead link.

Phil in Aus says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

Joe, you should have put out an APB… not for Ziser wedding photographers are a dime a dozen these days (respect to DZ) An APB on a tri-grip will be easier to describe and more believable!

JoeH says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:27 am Mr McNally you can have my trigrip.

No really. Its OK, you can have it.

Cue soda beverage theme song.


Monte Stevens says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:28 am

Thanks, Joe, a great way to start the week! Are posting a reward?

MaticK says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:32 am

LOL, good one Joe.. Hope you get your stuff back asap!

Can’t wait to finally meet you in person on the 20th :)

Girish says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

Haha nice to read some funny posts.
He will laugh hard once he reads this.

David says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

Laugh out loud funny (and sad). Mr. Ziser must be on hard times and all his ‘flare’ must be for show.
Is this blog notice your call for ‘DONATIONS’ to help you purchase a new Tri-Grip? Does anyone have change for a nickle?

David Ziser says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

Now you have done it! I am putting it on ebay.

Earl says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:10 am


Carl Licari says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

I was about to order the swine’s new book until I read the gory details of the crime.
Maybe if he comes forward with your trigrip I’ll reconsider. :-O

Jeffrey Chapman says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

Reading this might have saved my morning. Thanks.

Skip Barber says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:43 am

Great post, Joe. You started my day with a smile.

Edward McNally says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

Now Mr. Ziser’s name qualifies to be next to last on the No-Fly list.

Rob Byron says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

Brings back horrid memories of when someone stole my used gym socks back in junior high school. I still feel violated. I’m sure, however, that whoever opened the plastic bag containing the socks soon felt violated as well.

I’m sending your press release to America’s Most Wanted. People need to know about this dangerous criminal.

Carol Watkins says:

on April 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

Very funny!!!! Made my day.

Stephen Ratcliff says:

on April 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

David’s post about the TRI being on ebay is a “red herring” check Craig’s List.
the tooth slueth

Chris Gray says:

on April 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Sure it wasn’t Moose Peterson. Heard he was looking for one during the Bison photo shoot.

Thanks for the Monday sun shine.

Chris Davis Cina says:

on April 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Love the visual of David Ziser mowing his lawn in a suit and his wife fanning herself at a resort with the tri-grip. Can’t figure out which I like better – your photographs or your writing…but I will tell you this…I am grateful to have them both in my world! Thanks for another fabulous post.

randy baran says:

on April 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

baby oil, michelle pfeiffer – he’s probably sniffing it. he’ll burn out and turn himself in. just give him time!

Tim says:

on April 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

hahaha… once again, good job! man, you really have too much spare time if you can write this stuff. why don’t ya make a blog entry on how you can add another 24 hours to a day. i could really use this information and i think some other guys as well.

Troy says:

on April 12, 2010 at 1:50 pm

You’ve got to watch those shifty wedding photogs.

holly says:

on April 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I like the idea that Ziser would be grinning ear to ear in his mug shot :)

cindy williams says:

on April 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm

luv it….

John says:

on April 12, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Good promo for David Ziser, Joe. His book really is good!


Frank Burch says:

on April 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

This is just hysterical! I couldn’t stop laughing both time I read it!

Shannon Cayze says:

on April 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Hey Joe,

Hilarious! Never trust a wedding photographer!

I live very close to that little town of Edgewood, if you’d like me to go all Navy SEAL and retrieve it. :)

My first comment on your blog BTW. Long time listener, first time caller, so I just wanna say that “The Hot Shoe Diaries” is incredible! Keep up the great writing and teaching.


Polgara says:

on April 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm


Douglass says:

on April 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Ziser… Oh yeah, we know him… nice man… quiet… keeps to himself… lotsa cats, though…

Glyn Dewis says:

on April 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Sad, oh so sad…just when you think you know someone too!!! Man I feel so gullible!!!

Great book though :)


Ray says:

on April 12, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Oh no!!!! And I just bought his book… :(

It is a good book though… :)


Andy Glogower says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I spotted them heading West on Interstate 4 in a Toyota Prius. LaDawn was fanning the tri-grip out the back window for added fuel economy.

Simon Fleming says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Great read Joe – the world needs more humour like this.

Your writing & stories are fantastic – I would happily read a book of yours whether it contained pictures or not… the pictures are more than welcome though : )

Chua AL says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm

This is so crazy! I loved this post!
Hope you get back your Tri-Grip.

Torsten says:

on April 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Haha. I always thought David was shifty. Great Post.

Heather Elliott-Heath says:

on April 13, 2010 at 2:41 am

Very cute! He also “gave away” one of his books to me in a drawing at his workshop on the first day of the conference and then took it BACK and gave it to someone else simply because I had slipped out to take care of my baby! He *is* a slippery booger!

BTW I bought his book at the conference thereafter because it’s just TOO GOOD not to own and MEMORIZE so I highly recommend that ANYONE INTERESTED in wedding photography buy this book and read it like it’s your Bible and go to the NAPP Vegas conference and sign up for his wedding instruction class! This type of training can’t be duplicated! Learn from the BEST!

Frans says:

on April 13, 2010 at 3:30 am

Really nice post! I love your works and your blog :)

Mikkel Bo Rasmussen says:

on April 13, 2010 at 3:32 am

OMG, so funny! Joe, you are incredible. Can’t wait to se the reply from David :o)

AlanA says:

on April 13, 2010 at 5:45 am

I can’t believe that you managed to get …. “and one time, at band camp”… into your post. That is just flat awesome.


Michael Jonas says:

on April 13, 2010 at 7:00 am

I thought I lost my glasses in a glass of Merlot…. Now I see them on Ziser!!!! Why I outta!

Ken says:

on April 13, 2010 at 7:16 am

Great writeing Joe! BUT, beware, Ziser is posting on his blog from somewhere- reputedly safe – is not taking these allegations lying down!! As Joe would say…. MTK

Ken Toney says:

on April 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

All I want to know is who took this fabulous shot of David and can you give us the technical aspects of the photoshoot. You guys are a hoot.

Rich Charpentier says:

on April 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

Great chuckle for the morning. Just finished reading Dave’s book the other week, and throughout the chapters I never got the feeling he advocated “lifting” gear from other photographers…… :)

Jim says:

on April 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

Harumph! Wedding ‘togs – To be trusted with neither models nor gear.

The book might just be worth a read though!

Joel says:

on April 13, 2010 at 10:16 am

Simply awesome post, outstanding!

Gil says:

on April 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

I was there at NAPP in Orlando. Not sure if this is relative to this ongoing man hunt, but I saw a Toyota Prius on Interstate 4 trying to stop and the only way the couple in the car was able to slow the car down was using some strange triangle looking parachute out the window. I thought it was strange. Mostly, how other drivers were blinded by the reflection of this device. Could this be the answer to Toyota’s brake problems?

DJ says:

on April 13, 2010 at 10:50 am

congratulations your new book HOT SHOE DIAEIES be listed at CHINA.we love you Joe!

Dennis O. says:

on April 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

Wow, I felt so sorry for David after these allegations I purchased his book at Dave Cross’ Columbus Seminar yesterday! (the $20 NAPP discount didn’t hurt either!) Even though he’s from Kentucky and I’m from Ohio and the states are known to feud…wait a minute, he probably is a thievin’ varmint!!! Don’t go near that Zumbrella!! :)

Ray Peterson says:

on April 13, 2010 at 11:08 am

Joe, I got to your site from Dave’s (did not read all of his article just clicked through) to see what the problem was. Hey I had a good laugh and will send this link to others.
Good work to the both of you.

Paul Hara says:

on April 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

Joe, you once told me at a workshop that you were not a good writer. Bullshit!

Scott T says:

on April 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Can it be that David Ziser is indeed Keyser Söze??? Shifty little man!!!

Alan B says:

on April 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I envision you laughing out loud while writing this… I sure did while reading it.

Richard Davis says:

on April 13, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Inspired post Joe! I got David’s book with my NAPP renewal and it’s well on the way to getting as used and abused as my copies of The Moment It Clicks and The Hotshoe Diaries.

Jenny says:

on April 14, 2010 at 4:23 am

while I understand and appreciate the warning of this particular photog/event, I personally feel that writing about this in your blog is a bit overboard…

I feel that perhaps it didn’t need to go into this much detail with the photograph of the person in question being posted as well. Joe, you’re such a great photographer/amazing lighting instructor that you don’t need to do free advertising on him and his book. I know the memories of the tri-grip is irreplaceable, but you know, at the end of the day, we all lose things that meant a great deal to us. To me, pointing finger at the other person doesn’t always seem like the most noble thing to do.

I know I’m probably the odd one here and hopefully don’t get bombarded by other readers disagreeing with me. Oh well, one must speak his/her mind sometimes.

Bob DeChiara says:

on April 14, 2010 at 5:47 am

Hiliarious!! Someone needs to pay a visit to Father Krist for a confession.


Ron Mandsager says:

on April 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

Just read the report on your surgery, Joe, posted by Ziser. Very sad… Hope things clear up for you… 😉

Roy says:

on April 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm

McNally you are a madman. How fortunate for those of us without your antic humor and clear sense of the ridiculous. And your next target will be…..

Deb says:

on April 14, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Joe, I think I saw it on eBay! One of the funniest posts I’ve ever read…and that includes Kelby’s!

Martin says:

on April 15, 2010 at 4:42 am

made me laugh great stuff!

Dade Freeman says:

on April 15, 2010 at 5:55 am

LOL, mock of the week continues – nice story and great visuals 😉

Karen Tate says:

on April 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

You guys are absolutely hilarious!!!

Dee says:

on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Hehehe….this is really funny…I’ll let you know if I spot him in Malaysia :)

chris says:

on April 16, 2010 at 2:55 am

Just bought his book… loving it….

Laura Dickinson says:

on April 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Hmm… “Luminous”…there’s that word again…surprisingly!

Jack Flemmings says:

on April 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

And not a word from Mr Ziser ??!! Kentucky boys, you gotta watch us……….Great, GREAT post….I have one of those Zumbrella; next time you are in Wildomar stop by and I’ll give you mine.

John Batdorff says:

on April 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

LOL…killing me. I’m pretty sure it was raffled off at the last Ziser seminar I attended.

Dianne Arnold says:

on April 21, 2010 at 9:46 am

Joe – absolutely hilarious!
First, I read your “Driving to Slovenia” post and was again blown away by your writing – wonderful mental images formed just reading your words. Then, I come to “Tri-Grip Thief” and I’m laughing out loud in my hotel room. Can’t tell if you’re such a wonderful writer because you’re a great photog — or the other way around….no matter, pure raw talent…love it.
thanks for sharing your world with us.

Ted the Grunt says:

on April 24, 2010 at 12:46 am

the hot shoe diaries and captured by the light are sitting on my desk right now!
Thanks for all the tips!

Helene of OHK Photos says:

on April 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I love this post! I’ve read all of Joe’s books and just finished David’s. Have learned so much from these guys! Just love all of them!

Nicole Roberts says:

on April 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

Absolutely hilarious.

soegemaskineoptimering says:

on June 12, 2010 at 6:37 am

Hey, I think your article is very interesting. I found it via Bing. Will bookmark and come back soon

Sean McNamara says:

on January 13, 2011 at 12:56 am

Well done; mission accomplished. Picked up a pair of Zumbrella’s for an upcoming event. 😉

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